27 April 2017

Taking the Plunge into Freelance Writing

You may remember a recent blog post, from back in March, where I discussed how reading 'The 4 Hour Work Week' by Timothy Ferriss made me realise my true passion for writing and how I want to pursue it for a career. (Read the post HERE and buy the game-changing book HERE.)

Well, since then, I've been at home in Wetherby for four weeks after visiting my lovely boyfriend in Wisconsin... And I've had a lot of time to think.

I've always loved the idea of starting my own business, ever since we were taught it was an option when my coursemates and I were studying Fashion Marketing and Branding at university. I always thought it would be amazing to be my own boss, able to do things the way I wanted, on my time schedule and not have to fill in a holiday form and get it approved by a Manager in order to have a tiny bit of time off.

I've always been a bit of a free spirit, and since my travels I have been struck with a long-term case of the travel bug, so I find the traditional 9-5 jobs difficult because of the fact that it locks you down to one place indefinitely. I like to be able to spread my wings and fly off after a little while (perhaps that's why I chose to get into a relationship with an American).

It's because of these various different reasons, that I came to monumental, life-changing decision not too long ago. A big, scary decision that simultaneously gave me the butterflies with excitement, as well as days of anguish and anxiety.

I decided to go for it, and not let fear get in the way, so I could live without regrets... I decided to start my own freelance writing business.

I've done a lot of reading and researching recently and I honestly think I can make it work. In fact, I am making it work!

This is my second week of pitching and I have had my work published on two different blogs. (You can find the links at the end of this post.) My two niches are fashion and travel, but I have also previously written beauty and health articles.

This 'starting my own freelance writing business' business was supposed to be a long term goal, something that I would do 'later in life' when I'd 'built more experience'. However, after doing some extensive research - the kind of research where you try to go to bed at night but you can't sleep, as your head is buzzing with information - I discovered that a lot of people out there, who have successful freelance writing businesses, have less experience than I do!

Therefore I decided to just do it. Life's too short. My personal opinion is that life is not a dress rehearsal, it's the real thing.

I recently read a book called 'Who Moved My Cheese?' by Doctor Spencer Johnson (find it HERE). It's all about the fear of change and how to handle it, through a metaphorical story of mice who lose their cheese. My sister found it and introduced it to me. (Cheers, sis!)

This book came to me at the right time, because it's basic message is to not let the fear of change stop you from doing things and living the life you want. What would you do if you weren't afraid? It's time to stop being afraid and start living.

And that's exactly what I am doing.

My business is still in its very early stages; for instance, the website is still being built. It's true that this could all go horribly wrong, but I'll never know until I try.

I'm proud of myself for having the courage to try it though, and I hope I have inspired some people from writing this post. Don't wait until 'later in life', do it today. You might not have tomorrow.

(My first published articles since I last wrote for IDEAL Magazine back in 2015 are as follows:

What To Wear on a First Date - GoDates.co.uk - Dating Blog
Growing up In Wakefield, England - Erika with a K - Travel Blog
Visiting Sydney - Erika with a K - Travel Blog

Thank you for your continuous support! K-xo)

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20 April 2017

Why Edinburgh Truly is a Babe

Once you've got the travel bug, it's kind of difficult to get rid of. (Not that you'd want to!)

It had only been a couple of weeks since I'd returned from Wisconsin, USA, when I felt the sudden urge to do some more exploring! That and leaving my American boyfriend is always tough, so I was up for a weekend getaway with the sis to turn my frown upside down.

I'd been to Edinburgh once before late last Summer (read about it here) and came home absolutely buzzing. Not only does Edinburgh look pretty, with an abundance of old stone buildings, park greenery and (of course) the castle perched on its mound overlooking the city, but it feels... well, alive.

What I mean by that is there are people everywhere, much like London, from all corners of the globe. It's such a touristic place but it differs from London City Centre in the sense that it doesn't feel too overcrowded. There's just a really good vibe about it!

There's so much to do and see, which is a challenge when you're only there for a couple of nights. However, it's definitely worth the trip, and the drive up to Scotland from Yorkshire on the A1 along the coast line makes for a pleasant afternoon.

We had a full day of sightseeing on the Saturday, which gave me a great excuse to wear some new items from Topshop that I'd bought the week before!

It was a beautiful, bright, sunshine-y day - I hadn't seen clear, blue sky like that in a while! We ventured to the top of the castle and couldn't help but be awestruck at the breathtaking views.

What I love most about Edinburgh is the layout. The Old Town, including the Castle, sits at the top of the hill and overlooks the New Town, where all the high street shops are, with Princes Street Gardens in between. It's very unique. However, make sure you wear comfy shoes when you visit the city as those hills really take it out of you! I felt like I'd lost a stone in a matter of a weekend, walking up and down hills, steps and on cobbled streets.

In addition to this, the night life is a treat! There's The Dome, a fancy bar and restaurant with an interior that looks like the inside of Gringotts Bank (Harry Potter reference). Old Town also has some live music bars that are so much fun, featuring some extremely talented bands.

All in all, I can't help but feel that Edinburgh is truly a babe and one of my favourite places I've visited so far in the whole wide world! I'm sure I'll be back again!

Leather Jacket - Topshop
Paisley Print Top - Topshop LOVE
Levi Jeans - KOHL's 
Nike Trainers - Sports Direct
Coach Handbag - Coach Outlet @ Oshkosh, WI
Sunglasses - Rayban


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(Please note that some photos in this post were taken by Nicola Davies.)

13 April 2017

April Homeware Haul Featuring Debenhams and Primark

I’ve been home a few weeks now since my recent trip to Wisconsin and, after spending a bit of time while I was over there picking up bargains in the US of A (see the haul post here), it wasn’t long before I had a sudden urge to head to some of my favourite UK chains and see what’s on offer in my own country.

Spring/Summer lines are predominantly filtering their way into the UK high street stores, with some chains still trying to dispose of A/W 16 pieces. However, there are also plenty of opportunities at select stores to pick up discounted lines in the mid-season Spring sales.

I am currently in the process of building an office in my bedroom. This is going to be a little area that’s cute and homely, yet professional, where I can go to when I’m in serious blogging and freelance writing mode (watch out for an upcoming post where I go into detail on my newfound chosen career path). Therefore I’ve been looking for homeware pieces of late to fill said office space.

I was in Debenhams the other day as I love their homeware; it’s such good quality but also purse-friendly! It’s even more purse-friendly at the moment, as there is currently sale across the entire store, and you can get a further 20% off when you order online if you visit this website. There are also other deals and promotions for Debenhams on this site so make sure you check it out so you don’t miss out!

I bought this lovely ‘Sheer Vanilla’ fragranced candle at a discounted price, which I thought would sit pretty on my new desk. It will bring a little bit of sunshine to my office space with its yellow lid; oh and did I mention that it smells absolutely divine?

Candle – Debenhams – Was £6.50, Now £4.55

Furthermore, Primark is currently offering some bargain dreamy homeware pieces. Observe: 

I fell in love with this inspiration board when I first saw it. I thought it would look perfect hanging above my desk and I can fill it with photos, pictures and quotes that will make me smile as I work!

Inspiration Board – Primark - £6

Along with the inspiration board, I just had to buy this amazing Unicorn cushion to prop me up while sitting on my desk chair. Not only do I love Unicorns, but my boyfriend always tells me off for being ‘too sassy’. (Meant to be or what?) 

Cushion – Primark - £5

This came hand in hand with a notebook that reads ‘Part Mermaid Part Unicorn… Therefore Completely Awesome’. (I love mermaids too!) This super adorable notebook will make a great addition to my desktop as somewhere I can scribble down my endless jobs and to-do lists. Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Notebook – Primark – £2.50

All four of these items that feature in this homeware haul just seemed to have my name on them; it’s almost like they were made with my office in mind! I can’t wait to put them in my new space and, at less than £20 for the whole lot, you can’t blame me for not being able to resist.

Enjoy your nice, long Easter weekend!


(Please note that this post contains sponsored links by Codesium.)


6 April 2017

3 Must Do's When Visiting Milwaukee

My recent trip to Wisconsin, where I was lucky enough to spend four whole weeks with my lovely American boyfriend, got off to a fantastic start in the state's largest city.

On my previous visit to my boyfriend's hometown of Green Bay, I had to fly to Chicago, take a coach to Milwaukee and then be picked up by my boyfriend and driven two hours back to Green Bay. I couldn't just fly to Green Bay (even though they have their own airport) as the flight connections were ridiculously expensive. (I'm talking hundreds of pounds extra! No thank you!) This time around, I had the exact same issues with the flights. Skyscanner just didn't want me to be able get to Green Bay cheaply. (How dare they!) However, I was able to fly to Milwaukee from Manchester via Atlanta for a reasonable price.

When initially discussing these flights, my boyfriend and I looked at each other (over Skype, of course, we are in a long distance relationship with an entire ocean between us) and we were both like, hey, why don't we spend the weekend in Milwaukee first before heading back to Green Bay?!

And it was decided, there and then.

I didn't see much of Milwaukee the last time around. It was dark when I arrived at the Intermodal coach station (it was nighttime, after all)  and I was dead as a dodo. (That would be the jetlag!) Needless to say, this meant I was really looking forward to seeing what Milwaukee had to offer (in the daylight).

It turns out: a lot.

Here are my top three must do's when visiting Milwaukee:

1) Take a walk along the riverfront downtown and swing by the Public Market.

Milwaukee is seriously pretty. Mainly because it's on the edge of Lake Michigan. This serious prettiness was emphasised further during our weekend there by the fact that it had just snowed the day before. All the buildings, roads and parks were sprinkled with white - like a winter wonderland.

However pretty, the snow meant that we couldn't walk too far or for too long without shivering ourselves silly as the temperature continued to drop significantly below freezing. (Brr!) However, as we were already staying downtown, we managed to make the trip along the river front to the Public Market. (And it was worth the journey, trust me!)

Milwaukee's Public Market is a rather quirky, indoor set of stalls and vans offering food and drink from independent local merchants. The market's official website describes it as 'bursting with unique, high quality selections of artisan and ethnic products' which I can definitely vouch for - everything looked and smelled amazing!

Unfortunately, as I was suffering from an extreme bout of jetlag at the time (which seemed to strike as soon as I'd stepped foot into the market), it meant that I couldn't sample any of the delicious food and drinks on offer. (I was definitely upset by this at the time! And I still am to be honest.) But it's not going to stop me from recommending visitors of the area - they should get themselves to the Public Market pronto and enjoy stuffing their faces! (I'm not jealous at all.)

2) Visit the Art Museum.

Milwaukee's Art Museum is every art lover's dream. It is one of the largest galleries in the USA with over 25,000 works of art.

As someone who loves and appreciates art, I was a little bit in heaven. Furthermore, it's not just the art itself that is very impressive. You cannot help but look on in awe at the architecture of the building. It's such an uniquely shaped building with a beautifully modern, light and airy interior.

I loved it. Plus, it has its own cafe offering food and bar offering drinks which means the total Milwaukee Art Museum experience makes for an exceptionally pleasant weekend afternoon.

3) Have brunch at Bartolotta's Lake Park Bistro.

OMG, I still can't get believe how incredible the brunch was that I had at this adorable French bistro. (It's almost a month and a half later and I'm not over it!) Seriously, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Bartolotta's offer what's called a 'classic brunch' which is four courses of yumminess. It starts with fresh croissants, then you can choose an appetiser, entree and dessert and wash it all down with a casual Mimosa, or two, at 10am on a Sunday. (Mimosas are the American version of Bucks Fizz for all you English folk reading!)

Both the presentation and taste of the food were stunning, along with the restaurant views. You see, this place is not only known for the food, but the fact that it's perched right on the end of Lake Michigan.

On the particular day that we went, there was ice covering some of the lake which meant that the water was glistening and gleaming in the morning sun. It was also gorgeous two-tone blue in colour.

The whole experience took my breath away! An absolute must do.

And there you have my top three must do's when visiting Milwaukee.

I really enjoyed our weekend there and I look forward to visiting the city again soon! I'm growing fonder and fonder of it by the minute.

(I hope this post was useful for anybody about to visit Milwaukee or planning to in the future! Please check out my previous post based on Wisconsin here. Also, look out for my upcoming post on Door County coming soon! Thanks for reading. K-xo)

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